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June 12, 2024 7 mins
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(00:00):
Cindy Hook tonight, it's the graduatingclass. It's the survivors new Town High
class of twenty twenty four. Sixtyof the three hundred and thirty kids graduating
tonight are survivors of one of thedeadliest school shootings in US history. And

(00:22):
I want to say something. Ihope it doesn't come off as a phony
or maudlin or pandering or anything.It certainly couldn't get farther from my intent.
But for these kids who are graduatingtonight and what they carry with them,

(00:43):
and I wish them the best,and I think of them more often,
probably than is healthy for me.But I mean, I was on
the air that day. You allknow the story about it. I was
called in and I came in,and I came in with I had my
I was with my kids. Theyhad to come with me. One was

(01:04):
six. I read off the namesof twenty first graders, six year olds.
They're not graduating tonight, obviously,and I want the parents of those
kids to know that I'm not someonewho needs to be told Harker kids more.

(01:25):
You don't know how lucky you areto I'm very aware. Just late
yesterday afternoon and last night I waswith my son before he went out first
last night as a high schooler.You know, when I was his boy,
he was up to something cheat.I don't want that kid was up
to. I probably exactly what Iwas up to. Permissions got turned off

(01:46):
on Life three sixty, you know, which is basically a sock on the
doorknob. I mean that best wayI take it. It was a filthy,
filthy night for the lad. ButI was talking to him about it
being his last night as a highschooler. It's just beautiful when he smiled.
When he chooses to smile, it'sso it's disarming and h and when

(02:12):
he chooses to be kind, it'sa kindness that's uh, that'll reduce you
to just a pile of rubble.I was so appreciative of him yesterday,
and I was thinking after he left, I'm like, you know, I
love that kid. I can't Idon't know what's going to become. I

(02:36):
can say I'm proud. I amproud of him. I mean, he
could do something extraordinaries. I certainlygot to he might not might not even
try to. He might get himselfin a whole lot of trouble. Worried
about him getting home last night,because it happens just like that, all
these things swimming around in my head, thinking about there's a million ways it

(02:58):
can go for him. But Igot him to eighteen. And there's a
weird feeling in that I got himto eighteen, scandal free, trouble free,
safe, no hospital visits, noteven for a skin need, not
a stitch. And when I camein this morning and saw sixty kids graduating

(03:19):
Newtown High School TONIGHTTS survivors, twentykids should be graduating, and they're not.
And I don't need to be toAnd I've never needed to be told
how lucky I am, how fortunateI at least you've got your I am
well aware of that. I've alwaysbeen cognizant of them and that and wondered

(03:42):
how they got on. Some didn't. They couldn't bear it by some almost
three when this show started. Fifteenyears later, he's eighteen, he graduates,
and I'll look out of him upon there, and I could write
one of those gushy, gushy thingsyou know about this kid, what's he
he's going to do? But Idid. I thought to myself last night,

(04:02):
I'm like, he can he couldeven try try to, but life
can be unjust was for these twentykids and for the sixty who watched it
and have dealt with the PTSD,with with everything after. But I was
thinking last I can't write one ofthose things. And who knows what's gonna

(04:23):
happen with Luke. He may tryand fail, he may not try at
all. He may be an extraordinarythe best of us. He certainly has
what it takes. Instead, I'mjust gonna look at him up on that
stage tonight and get his thing andbe glad he made it to it.
That's the world we live in now. Hey, four years high school and

(04:45):
not one shooting in your school.I just want to parents and Sandy Hook
to know that when I look upat my son at the stage, I
am very much aware that I'm fortunatethat he's he's up there. And all
the parents who car accident stupid reasons, stupid reasons, reasons that were out
of their control and out of theirkids control, jackass drunk, wrong way

(05:10):
drivers, punk kids speeding, andthey're passengers who pays the price. So
many people who should be going tograduations this week, watching their children graduate
high school this week I'm aware.I know. I look and I see
and all those who should be ata graduation will be because their besties kid

(05:39):
is graduating. The strength that youmuster to do that, it's not a
strength I would ever be capable ofyour ability to celebrate the graduation of who
was your child's best friend. Butyour child's no longer with is. But
you're still out there anyway. Andif you're standing and you're looking around,

(06:00):
look at all these parents, ifyou even do have a age, look
around. No, none of theseparents know how lucky they are. I
do. I'm looking up at thatstage and I'm aware. I'm fortunate that
my son is up on that andchaos free. You know, there was
no There were drills, but therewas no lockdown. Hidden under a desk,

(06:23):
These moments, these things that traumatizethese kids. There was a lot
of stupid stuff, a lot ofstuff the administration made priorities. It's just
silly, a lot of time wasted, not a great education. We're not
celebrating these educations that I hope youdon't think for a second I am.
I'm celebrating that he's alive, thathe survived it, that he wasn't stabbed

(06:46):
or shot that his school wasn't shotup as I'm celebrating, celebrating the fact
that the little kid who I lookedat in the rearview mirror after reading off
the names of the twenty six yearold were gunned down at Sandy Hook.
I looked in that rear view mirrorat him in the back seat. He
stayed home from school the next day. I didn't know what to do.

(07:08):
I'm the first anniversary of it.I worried about that anniversary. Shenanigans stayed
home from school then too, becauseI got to worry about all nut jobs.
You're not forgotten. I'll see allthe twenty of those kids tonight too,
along with the one with the dazzlingsmile,
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